OJAI, Calif. - California beat Utah for the second time in 13 days when the third-seeded Golden Bears blanked the sixth-seeded Utes, 5-0, on Thursday at the Pac-12 Championships at Libbey Park. Cal, ranked 18th in the current ITA poll, improves its record to 14-8 and moves on to play second-seeded and fifth-ranked USC (22-3) in the semifinals at 3 p.m. on Friday at Libbey Park. The 74th-ranked Utes dropped to 13-12.
Sophomore Chase Melton clinched the match for the Bears with his win in singles.
"We had a real battle with Utah today," Cal head coach Peter Wright said. "After we won the doubles point, Utah threw everything at us in the singles. We were down early on courts one through four, but our guys managed to turn things around to get the win.
"We're excited to be in the semifinals and look forward to our match with USC tomorrow."
California came out on fire knocking down the doubles point in two matches. The 66th-ranked duo of freshman Mads Engsted junior and Ben McLachlan topped Utah's Cedric Willems and Slim Hamza on court two by a score of 8-3. On the third court, sophomore Gregory Bayane and Melton defeated Utah's Devin Lane and Alejandro Medinilla, 8-1. With the point decided, the match on court one - with Cal's 33rd-ranked Campbell Johnson and Christoffer Konigsfeldt taking on Ben Tasevac and Dmytro Mamedov - was abandoned.
The Bears did not let up in singles play as the 82nd-ranked Konigsfeldt took the victory on court two over Mamedov by a score of 6-4, 6-3. On court four Bayane defeated Lane, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0, to make the team score 3-0, and then Melton secured the victory with a 6-1, 7-5, win over Tasevac on court six. Johnson, ranked 62nd in singles, tallied the final point with a 2-6, 6-1, 6-0, win over Medinilla on court three. The matches on courts five (Engsted vs. Willems) and one (No. 33 McLachlan vs. No. 107 Hamza) were abandoned.
The Bears and Trojans - the defending Pac-12 tournament and NCAA champion - played just one match this season, as the scheduled conference match between the teams on March 31 in Berkeley was cancelled due to rain. Cal fell to USC, 7-0, on Feb. 8 in Los Angeles.
2013 Pac-12 Championships
No. 18/3rd Seed California 5, No. 74/6th Seed Utah 0
April 25, 2013, in Ojai, Calif.
1. #32 Johnson/Konigsfeldt (Cal) vs. Tasevac/Mamedov (Utah) - Abandoned
2. #66 Engsted/McLachlan (Cal) def. Willems/Hamza (Utah) - 8-3
3. Bayane/Melton (Cal) def. Lane/Medinilla (Utah) - 8-1
(Cal won the doubles point)
Order of finish: 2, 3.
1. #33 Ben McLachlan (Cal) vs. #107 Slim Hamza (Utah) - Abandoned
2. #82 Christoffer Konigsfeldt (Cal) def. Dmytro Mamedov (Utah) - 6-4, 6-3
3. #62 Cambell Johnson (Cal) def. Alejandro Medinilla (Utah) - 2-6, 6-1, 6-0
4. Gregory Bayane (Cal) def. Devin Lane (Utah) - 4-6, 6-3, 6-0
5. Mads Engsted (Cal) def. Cedric Willems (Utah) - Abandoned
6. Chase Melton (Cal) def. Ben Tasevac (Utah) - 6-1, 7-5
Order of Finish: 2, 4, 6, 3.